[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Louise Urwin - Homestake creek extreme race"][/caption]
This year Level six paddlers Louise Urwin, Brenna Kelly & Tino Specht were in Vail, Colorado for the 2010 Teva Mountain Games. This event draws top international athletes to compete in extreme racing, long distance, freestyle and 8-ball events for a good prize purse.
The first event is the steep creek extreme race on Homestake creek, a low-volume manky creek that no competitor takes lightly as there is a large margin for error with tight lines, one mistake will cost you those precious seconds needed to take the title. At over 8,000 ft the altitude also comes into play, after a five minute lap you find yourself gasping for breath and after the short walk back to the top of the course, you are pretty stuffed.
Myself, Brenna and some other friends drove the 30 hrs to Vail and straight into practice. I was pretty happy with my practice runs and was feeling confident but come race day, I caught an edge, got turned and flipped over some rocks, hit a rock further down and got eddied out and that was enough to put me out of contention, so gutted but more determined for next year :)
There was a huge kiwi contingent in Vail this year, 19 to be precise so we rented a pimp mansion in the heart of Vail village for Kiwi's and friends, it was a fantastic week of racing and enjoying the festival. Besides the kayaking there is a huge gear town, mountain biking, slopestyle, running, fishing, dog jumping, climbing and more so there's never a dull moment. Unfortunately they cancelled the 8-ball race due to rising water levels, disappointing for those us wanting to make amends after the creek race but we'll just have to bring our A-game next year!
MENS EXTREME RACE RESULTS:
1st Sam Sutton
2nd Andrew Holcolme
3rd Tao Berman
WOMENS EXTREME RACE RESULTS:
1st Tanya Faux
2nd Martina Wagman
3rd Nikki Kelly
None of our crew had freestyle boats so we became a cheering squad instead for the freestyle comp.
The finals were pretty intense as the river rose and became a darker shade of brown. The hole became more of a wave and giant chunks of tree debri ripped through the hole adding an element of risk to the freestyle game as whole tree limbs and stumps flushed through.
WOMENS FREESTYLE RESULTS:
1st Emily Jackson
2nd Tanya Faux
3rd Haley Mills
MENS FREESTYLE RESULTS:
1st Dustin Urban
2nd Jason Craig
3rd Casper Van Kalmthout
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